NASA has named Jody Singer acting director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, as the agency seeks a permanent director. Todd May, who had served as Marshall director since February 2016, retired from the agency effective July 27, capping a 27-year career with NASA that began in 1991 as an engineer at Marshall.

“My decision to retire from NASA was a difficult one, primarily because of the truly exceptional people I got to work with every day,” said May. “With deep management experience over three decades at the project, program and center levels, I’m confident Jody Singer will continue to lead the Marshall’s critical work achieving the next wave of human exploration to the Moon, Mars and beyond.”

Singer was appointed Marshall deputy director in February 2016, assisting the director with the daily management of the center’s workforce and operations. Over her 32-year NASA career, Singer has served in numerous leadership roles overeseeing human spaceflight, technology and science flight missions programs and projects, and in 2002 was appointed to the Senior Executive Service, the personnel system covering top managerial positions in federal agencies. She began her career in 1985 as an engineer in NASA’s professional intern program.

Prior to becoming the deputy center director, Singer was the manager of the Flight Programs and Partnerships Office at Marshall from 2013 to 2016, where she held primary responsibility for the center’s work with human advanced exploration projects, science flight mission programs, technology demonstration missions, commercial crew, and International Space Station life support systems, research facilities, and payload operations. Singer also was responsible for identifying opportunities to develop and maintain partnerships with other government agencies, academia, and international and commercial partners that will help achieve NASA’s vision.

Her experience in human spaceflight includes 25 years in the Space Shuttle Program where she was responsible for the development, testing, flight readiness, safety and performance of the propulsion elements: the external tank, solid rocket boosters and main engines. Her experience also includes the Return to Flight activities following the Columbia tragedy, serving as as the first female project manager for the Reusable Solid Rocket Booster Project Office and as deputy manager in the Space Shuttle Propulsion Office as it successfully completed its mission and retirement.

From 2010 through 2012, she held deputy positions for three concurrent programs, the Space Shuttle Program, Ares, and for the start-up of the the Space Launch System (SLS). In 2012, as the deputy program manager of the SLS at Marshall, she helped lead nearly 3,000 civil servants and contractors involved in the developing and testing of the vehicle — the most powerful rocket ever built, able to carry astronauts in NASA’s Orion spacecraft on deep space missions to the Moon and ultimately to Mars.

Singer has been recognized with numerous awards during her NASA career, including the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and two Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive Awards, the highest honor for career federal employees.

For more information about NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, visit: